N95 masks with valves can be detrimental for preventing COVID-19: Health ministry

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N95 masks with valves can be detrimental for preventing COVID-19: Health ministry


The health ministry today has warned against “inappropriate use of N95 masks, especially those that contain respiratory valves” by the citizens. In a letter to all states and union territories, Rajiv Garg, the director general of health services, ministry of health said “It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread ofcoronavirusas it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the mask.”

“In view of the above, I request you to instruct all concerned to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use ofN95 masks,” he added.

Garg also encouraged public to use home-made face masks. Wearing a face mask in public places is now mandatory in India. The central government had earlier issued an advisory on how to make protective face covers at home. Any cotton clothes can a used as a cover for face and mouth. The cloth must be washed using boiling water for at least five minutes. Then, it needs to be completely dried before using it as face cover. One must ensure that the mask fits the face and there should not be any gap on the sides. Face masks need to washed and cleaned every day.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) also issued a detailed guidelines on how to wear and dispose face mask. One needs to wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before wearing a mask. Alcohol-based sanitisers can also be used. The face cover must fit properly, covering one’sr mouth, nose and chin, the medical council said. The mask needs to be changed after every eight hour. Wet masks should be avoided. The

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